A superb set of four mid 19th century large giltwood and polychrome carved wooden figures of Medieval Morris Men after the original set of sixteen made by Erasmus Grasser in 1480 - ADDITIONAL IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED BELOW:
Each carved giltwood figure being richly & finely decorated with polychrome (paint), the figures all having wonderful movement making them extremely realistic, all in individual Medieval costume and dancing positions, all standing on integral naturalistic wooden bases.
The set of figures were originally a set of sixteen and were carved for the Altes Rathaus (Town Hall) in Munich in around 1480, ten from the original set of figures survive today in the Munich Museum, Germany and they are some of the most valuable items in the whole collection.
Erasmus Grasser (1450-1515) was a master builder and sculptor in Munich in the 15th and 16th centuries, in 1475 the Guild of ‘Painters, Carvers, Embroiderers and Glaziers’ attempted to prevent his status of ‘Master Craftsman’ due to being known as disruptive.
However not long afterwards he was awarded an extremely highly paid commission from the city of Munich to produce various sets of coats of arms and the symbols of the sun and moon. In 1480 he was paid for the sixteen Morris figures – these were to form part of a heraldic ceiling along with the coats of arms and sun and moon, the figures originally having been displayed five metres high between the walls and the wooden ceiling.
Fortunately the figures were removed from the hall in 1931 and the coats of arms in 1942 all being moved to the Munich Museum before the hall was destroyed in World War II.
The hall has subsequently received restoration and copies of the original figures are now displayed there.
This set of four carved figures are all in excellent condition, are all of stable construction and can go straight into a home or collection making stunning statement pieces.
Height: 26.5''/67.5cm - 31.5''/80cm
Width: 15''/38cm - 21''/53cm
Depth: 12.5''/31.5cm - 15''/38cm